• Mini Is In: 2017 Mini-Bikes Buyers Guide

    Sure, you’ve got your usual crop of “beginner’s bikes” out there – inexpensive, small-displacement, full-size motorcycles without a lot of frills that are cheap to buy, insure and ride. But to be honest, a lot of the bikes in this segment can be a little dull – they’re machines built to make a good platform for riders to learn the fundamentals of riding on, so they’re a little boring by design.
    But there’s a whole new crop of motorcycles popping up that are even smaller and lighter that the typical starter bike – and ironically, a heck of a lot more fun too. The motorcycle market is in the midst of a renaissance of the mini-bike (AKA “monkey bike”), small, light, toy-like motorcycles with compact frames and small engines that are too small to be taken seriously as “real motorcycles” – but that’s exactly why they’re so much fun.

    How fun does this look!?

    These cool little bikes can’t hit the highways, and aren’t the best way to really learn to actually “ride.” But when it comes to doing some fun hooning around town, getting across a college campus, or as a cool way to get around a racetrack or campgrounds, there is no more fun way than one of these zippy little machines. These bad boys are cheap to buy, cheap to fuel up, and cheap to insure, and best of all, they’re so much pure, unadulterated fun, they appeal just as much to people who have never ridden as those who have been riding for decades – in fact, veteran riders are some of the biggest customers for these fun little bikes!
    Check out these five awesome mini-bikes hitting the market in 2017, and start saving your lunch money for your favorite one – high smiles-per-mile is guaranteed!

    2017 Honda Grom

    The 2017 Honda Grom

    Introduced in 2014, the Honda Grom is the fun, unique little 125cc machine that disrupted the market and is most responsible for the resurgence in popularity of the mini-bike, and was an instant hit across the globe. Honda says their Grom has put smiles on more people than anything else that’s come onto the motorcycle scene in recent years – and while that claim is impossible to prove, the Grom is such a cool and fun little machine, it’s very likely to be true!
    The machine that started the monkey bike movement is now about to hit its second generation in 2017, with redesigned fairings, an all-new exhaust, and even LED headlights, a feature usually found on much more expensive machines. But all the elements that make the Grom the blast that it is remain untouched, like the fast-revving little 125cc single, 4-speed manual transmission for a sporty riding experience, and a low 29.7” seat height that riders of all sizes can enjoy.
    The 2017 Honda Grom looks better than ever, but the essence of monkey bike fun remains untouched. The Grom is not only the most in-demand mini-bike on the market – it’s also very inexpensive, starting at only $3199!

    2017 Kawasaki Z125 Pro

    The 2017 Kawasaki Z125 Pro in action!

    Kawasaki has been a long-time player in small-displacement bikes with the popular Ninja 250, but it had also been creeping up away from the entry-level street bike market by bumping the little Ninja up in both sportiness and engine displacement in recent years.
    But the introduction of the Grom showed the world that there truly was a huge untapped market for the monkey bike, and as Kawasaki had already been developing a new 125cc mini-bike for Asian markets, they jumped at the chance to introduce it to North America as well. Starting in 2017, the new Kawasaki Z125 Pro will come in just underneath the Ninja 300 as Kawasaki’s most entry-level bike.
    The Kawasaki is a very Grom-like package, also packing a 125cc engine in a subcompact little frame. The fun doesn’t stop at one with this thing – the Z125 Pro has an impressive 350 pound carrying capacity, so it’s easy to take a passenger along for some fun. It also delivers a true motorcycle experience with it’s 4-speed transmission, which is where it gets the “Pro” moniker, differentiated from the standard Z125 which has an automatic clutch and is built for Asian markets.
    Best part about the Z125 Pro, however, is the price – all this fun is packed into a package that comes in at less than 3000 bucks!

    2017 Suzuki VanVan 200

    The 2017 Suzuki VanVan 200

    Suzuki says their VanVan “puts the ‘fun’ into ‘funky’”, but this unique bike is quite a bit of both, with classic vintage styling in a slim, light, and portable package. The VanVan 200 looks fully retro, but is powered by a modern fuel-injected 199cc single with just enough grunt to power its big beefy all-terrain tires over any terrain, from asphalt to dirt at the campground or sand on the beach!
    The VanVan 200 comes out next year, and will be offered at an MSRP of $4599.

    2017 Suzuki TU250X

    The 2017 Suzuki TU250X

    The Suzuki TU250X packs big retro style into a fun and tiny package. Styling-wise, it channels its inner 1970s UJM, but is powered by a light and peppy 249cc thumper instead of the twins and four-bangers of the era. The TU250X would make the perfect little retro cruiser to cruise the streets of Malibu or bomb around town on the boulevards of Los Angeles, but you won’t see it there – unfortunately, the TU250X is not available in California! But you can get it everywhere else starting at $4399 next year.

    2017 Suzuki GW250

    The 2017 Suzuki GW250

    You should be noticing a trend here by now – while Suzuki doesn’t have a true “monkey bike” like the Grom or Z125 Pro, they do have more sub-250cc bikes in their lineup than any other major manufacturer. The GW250 rounds out the lineup, taking a more modern approach to the 250cc minibike with its more aggressive sport-naked styling.
    Great for getting around the city, the GW250 packs a revvy twin-cylinder mill in place of the single-cylinder in the other small Suzooks. Super maneuverable and extremely fuel efficient, the GW250 is the perfect mini bike for the urban excursion, and will be on sale for only $4099!
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